In chapter seven of his book, The Four-Hour Body, Tim Ferriss talks about why so many people fail to stick to their diets. It's only logical to eat healthy and exercise. However, most people fail at it, although they know that's what's right! Logic fails, he argues. He doesn't go to a lot of details, but it's a behavioral challenge the humans have. What's logical to do remains as nice-to-have until it's too late. It's similar in investing. Most people know investing is the right thing to do but, they delay it. When it comes to fat-loss, Tim argues that you may have a tipping point - Harajuku moment - that turns something nice-to-have to a must-have. Or, you can follow a four-step process to making failure impossible. If the process can make a fat-loss program failure-proof, I should be able to use it to make investing a must-have activity too. I don't think there is a way to create Harajuku moment for every single user that signs up for our Stock Card tool, although we may fine-tune our messaging to try to create that. However, we can guide the users through Tim's failure-proof process and make them stick to an investment regiment that improves their lives.
There are four steps to failure-proofing a diet program in the four-hour body book:
Making a diet conscious is another way of saying that you must be aware of where your are (basline) and what you are doing to get there (progress). I can see this in the most successful diet programs I know - RP diet and Zone diet. Moat successful people at such diets take a phone of their before and after body and post it to Facebook, Insta or on their blogs. It establishes a baseline, and it makes the person aware of his flaws. How can this be applied to our context? How can we apply this step to making our users more aware of their investment habits?
I can imagine a few ways of doing this. We won't know until we try a few things. Therefore, before going to steps 2 to 4, I'm going to run a few initiatives or add a few new features to make investing a conscious behavior for our users. Some of the examples that come to my mind are:
The second one is a feature we've already defined and the dev. team is going to work on it soon. The first one is interesting. I had an idea very early-on to get the users to sign a new contract with themselves to obey by the rules of intelligent investing, and declare their goals (for example, I want 1000 to buy X). We've never implemented it. Maybe, it is something to try at a small scale and see how it goes. The third one is related to the ultimate product we would want to build at Stock Card. It's a longer-term thing though. I've developed the specification document for version zero of such behavioral nudging, and I will be adding more to it as we see users' response to it.
Going back to my panic-moment last week, it looks like the one thing I need to do every day is to make Stock Card users conscious about their current status. I'm willing to give it a try!
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